Home » The Big Debate RESULTS -Majority of Voters Say FastPass+ Needs to Change

The Big Debate RESULTS -Majority of Voters Say FastPass+ Needs to Change

Over the last few weeks we have been asking for your thoughts on the changes that Walt Disney World have put into place due to COVID-19. We have run three polls addressing each main change which includes, When Do You Think Character Meet and Greets will return to Walt Disney World?Should Staggered Booking Windows Become Permanent for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance? and Which COVID-19 Change At Walt Disney World Would You Like To Become Permanent? Part 1: FastPass+.

Rather than doing our usual Big Debate RESULTS article after each one, we have purposefully left it so we can explore the results and comments all together. So let’s find out what you think…

Cancelling of FastPass+ 

Under the Sea, Fastpass+
Image: Theme Park Tourist

So, FastPass+, this has been an extremely talked about subject since its introduction and often Disney fans are split regarding it. Some love it and some hate it, while others tolerate it because well what else can you do?

Since Walt Disney World has reopened its gates FastPass+ has not been available and all existing reservations have been cancelled. Some may think this is a good idea while parks run at reduced capacity but will this even be possible when capacity is increased again as it inevitably will be?

So here are the results to the question, should FastPass+ be gotten rid of permanently? 

  • Yes – 31%
  • No – 39%
  • Yes, but a better alternative needs to be developed – 30%

39% of voters are obviously against FastPass+ as they have chosn ‘No’, interestingly 30% have acknowledged that although they think it should go, an alternative is needed, especially when the parks return to a more normal capacity. The remaining 31% have voted ‘yes’ to getting rid of FastPass+ permanently.

Your comments and thoughts

Turnstiles, Disney
Image: Disney

“1000% bring back Fastpass. Without it you are rewarding people for being lazy and not planning. The whole “lines will be shorter” makes no sense as rides have a certain capacity per hour and FP does not do anything to change that.”

“The problem is the crowds, not the FastPass. It was getting worse and worse each year. With the FastPass, you could at least know there were a few rides you could get on within a half hour. Who knows if there will be any without it? Maybe the standby lines will go quicker, maybe they won’t.”

“We are not park opening people, so I love knowing we can get to the park when we want and still ride the popular rides.”

“No more fast pass period. It ruined the experience, especially it being on the app. Paper fast pass was better. Not being able to be spontaneous on a vacation makes it feel like a job. What about bad weather? Illness? It’s ridiculous”

“We went to Disney World at the end of February before COVID started. There were quite a few rides where the fast pass line was longer than the regular line. Big Thunder Mountain fastpass line was backed up all the way across the bridge into frontier land. I would much rather everyone wait in the same line instead of fastpass. Or go back to do something like a digital fast pass but designed like the old paper system. Where you can only do one at a time, and can only reserve once scanned in the park. The fastpass+ system is virtually impossible to do with large groups, whereas before, you could all walk to the fastpass kiosk and get your tickets at the same time so they would only be minutes apart.”

“I like Fastpass+, particularly the fact it is free– Disney is expensive enough with more upcharges. However, I do think this would be a prime opportunity to revisit and retool the system, perhaps incorporating elements of the virtual queue concept.”

Castle, Disney's Magic Kingdom
Image: Theme Park Tourist

“LOVE Fast passes!! Allows you to plan your day in advance and be most efficient!”

“If there’s a better way, then YES. Even with the 60 day out fp reservation perk for staying at Disney resorts, doesn’t work. If this new queue system works then I say they roll with it. But, also take into consideration that capacity numbers will ( I hope) increase as the year progresses. It might be a good thing.”

“I would love for it to go back to the old paper ticket Fast Passes. It put everyone on a more even playing field.”

“I liked the version of Fasspass at Disneyland you get one at a time and have to be in the parks before you can get your first pass. No advanced reservations.”

“Even with the old paper fast pass system, the most popular rides were gone for the day even if you arrived before noon!”

“Fast pass is why the standby lines get astronomically long.”

“No it’s an awesome system. Long lines are the worse!”

“For the people like us that live near Disney, Fast Pass is a huge perk and a delight for going to the parks. We can arrange our fast passes for the week, go 3-4 times, and be in and out and do everything we want in 4 hours. That’s the way we like it. Once the “normal” size crowds return after the virus, the lines for the popular rides will be huge. That may mean the end of Disney for us.”

“No more fast passes. Just everyone wait in line like it used to be.”

“I’ve never been a fan of FastPass+. For me, waiting in line has always been a part of the experience, and depending on the attraction, part of the story as well. With FP+, you miss out on certain details.”

“I personally find reserving the FP+ to be stressful but a necessity especially during (most) peak times. However, I wish there was a way to may a reservation prior to using all 3 FP+’s… because I don’t always have all 3 passes scheduled closely together…. so I have to wait until I use my 3rd FP+ which may be mid to late afternoon and there’s really nothing much later – except those rides that have low wait times or you can just walk on…”

“I dunno, we like it, and average 12-16 fastpasses a day on the current system, but it does take time and puts me in the app a lot during the visit. I dunno how else they will do it without standing in line.”

“Hate fast pass, everything is a reservation it’s less fun!”



Mask wearing cast members, Disney
Image: Disney

Well, as we were expecting, some readers love it and some readers hate it, here are the summary points from the debate:

  • With crowds getting bigger over the last few years, FastPass+ meant you at least knew you could ride your favorite rides without a massive queue.
  • For those people who don’t get to the gates before opening and aren’t then able to leg it to the first ride of the day, FastPass+ helps them.
  • Many people have commented saying bring back the paper Fastpass system, currently still in use at Disneyland Paris. It puts everyone on an equal playing field. Others say that even with these, for the most popular rides, they would have run out by noon.
  • For some, waiting in line is part of the experience, with FastPass+ you can sometimes miss vital details which are built up in the queue.
  • The system of booking FastPass+ can be stressful and it takes away the spontaneity of the vacation when everything has to planned right down to the last detail.
  • Getting the reservations close enough together can be difficult which can mean a lot of hanging around at a park with little to do.
  • It means you have to be accessing your phone a lot and the app. It’s good to get away from the stresses of having to be attached to you cell phone all the time during your vacation.

Staggered Boarding Passes for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Rise of the Resistance, Walt Disney World
Image: Disney

Ever since Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened, it has been widely reported that getting a boarding group to ride can be a tricky business. Prior to Walt Disney World’s closure back in March, guests were required to line up (often for hours) in advance of the park opening in order to obtain a boarding group, which were distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

With social distancing and park passes required for all guests, the system that had be used to get a boarding group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance just wasn’t going to be possible to continue with when Disney’s Hollywood Studios officially reopened on July 15. Disney announced that they would use staggered booking windows to distribute boarding passes, and is now distributing boarding passes at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM.

We asked the question, Should Staggered Booking Windows Become Permanent for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance? To which you voted: 

  • Yes – 10%
  • No – 62%
  • Yes, and it should be done for the other top rides in each park – 27%

This poll has returned a clear verdict, with 62% saying ‘no’ and a combined 37% saying yes, with 27% saying that this system should also be replicated for the other top rides in each park. I guess with so many changes taking place right now, we will just have to wait and see what Disney decides to do regarding staggered boarding passes in the future when capacity and attendance returns to what we had all gotten used to.

Comments and thoughts

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Image: Disney

“Just did this yesterday and got in a group in the 2pm group and got called around 5pm. Really liked having a second shot at it. One thing I would like is if they didn’t have the first window right at park open. I say this because I got in the park at 10:01 too late to get a group but the issue was so many were getting in park and immediately stopping so the entrance was packed and no one was distancing because they were all looking at their phones. Would make the first window open at 10:15 that way there won’t be a long time with no one riding but those getting to the park right at 10 don’t bottle up. I don’t think many would try to time it to get in right at 10:15 so it would help with the bottleneck.”

Based on this reader’s comments it is obvious that this system still needs some tweaks, especially at a time when physical distancing is so important. I have confidence that Disney will work this one out, hopefully! What did voters think about character meet and greets? Click on page 2 to find out…

Character Meet and Greets

Characters Walt Disney World
Image: Disney

For many, character meet and greets are the highlight of their Disney visit, for others they are avoided, due to long lines. At a time when COVID-19 is still present, these meet and greets are inevitably impossible but to avoid the expected disappointment Disney has had to get creative. 

Instead of having to wait an hour or more to see your favorite characters inside an indoor meet and greet or at a specified location, characters can now be seen around the parks, greeting guests from rooftops, floats, stages, and other areas where they can remain socially distant. 

In our mini poll of debates surrounding COVID-19 changes we have been asking, do you think this change will become permanent? Well, that doesn’t work for character meet and greets as there is no suggestion they will be disappearing forever. We therefore asked, When Do You Think Character Meet and Greets Will Return to Walt Disney World? Here are the results:

  • September 2020 – 6%
  • October 2020 – 5%
  • November 2020 – 5%
  • December 2020 – 5%
  • 2021 – 65%
  • 2022 – 11%
  • 2023 or beyond – 3%

So, 65% of people are voting to see the return of character meet and greets in 2021. I guess we will just have to wait and see how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to play out. We will keep you up to date with all the latest news from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Disneyland, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and all other theme parks in the US and around the World, on our News Page and Facebook Page.

Comments and thoughts

Princess Tiana, Walt Disney World
Image: Disney

“I know meet and greets aren’t going away forever but I’m really enjoying what they have been doing with the character promenades and pop up skits and appearances. I hope they keep those in tandem with meet and greets.”

“As long as there is a virus out there and we are having to wear back and social distance- meet and greets should not come back – just not a good idea.”

“Hope do at some point when it is safe for both sides.”

“We dont even have time sometimes for meetngreets.”

“Not until Disney agrees with the unions requirements.”

A lot of guests are saying that it is good to see more characters out and about in the parks. It adds to the immersion and many would hope that this will remain even when character meet and greets return at some point in the future. We are guessing it won’t be in 2020 and majority of voters are expecting them to return during 2021. Right now, we can only keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.

The Big Debate

Magic Kingdom castle, Disney
Image: Disney

We have been running polls since March on Theme Park Tourist. There is still time to vote in our previous big debates if you haven’t already:

 You can read our latest Results and Discussion by clicking on these links:

Splash Mountain, Walt Disney World
Image: Disney

During a time when your favorite theme park isn’t quite reopen yet or at a time when you feel unable to visit for any number of reasons, if you fancy a chilled few minutes be sure to read one of our many new featured articles below:

Disney Junior show
Image: Disney

To see all of our latest features visit our Features Page. Don’t forget to leave us a comment below or on our Facebook Page. If you have any ideas for a poll just let me know on [email protected]